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Health unit coordinators, alternatively known as health care executives, health service managers or health care administrators, are responsible for planning and managing health care services. The position may be found in both the assistant and managerial level. A large range of specialization may be found in this field, which in turn affects salaries.
National Salary Scales
On the national level, the mean annual salary for health unit coordinators was $90,970 in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median annual salary was $81,850. At the low-end of the scale, career entrants are relatively well paid, with 10 percent making less than $49,750 a year and 25 percent making less than $63,700 a year. On the opposite end, 10 percent made $140,300 or more and 25 percent made $105,980 or more.
Salaries by Industry
Most health unit coordinators were employed by general medical and surgical hospitals in 2009, according to the BLS. Coordinators in this sector earned an average of $96,660 a year. However, the highest-paying sector was the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector, with incomes averaging $156,050 a year. This was followed by the navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing sector, with salaries averaging $141,720. The medical equipment and supplies manufacturing sector came in third, with $133,980, and the scientific research and development services sector was fourth, at $133,220 a year on average.
Salaries by State and Metropolitan Area
Medical unit coordinators were paid the highest in Washington, with an annual mean wage of $109,460 a year in 2009, according to BLS. This was followed by Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York. By metropolitan area, medical unit coordinators enjoyed the highest salaries in Salinas and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area, both in California, with salaries of $132,650 and $122,730 a year on average.
Qualifications and Outlook
A bachelor's degree is the basic minimum for entry-level positions in this field. However, higher positions often require a master's degree. Master's degrees in public health, business administration or health service administration are all adequate options. Doctoral-level qualifications are also available for those who wish to further specialize their skills. Previous work experience is often required for entry into graduate-level studies. In addition to formal educational requirements, good leadership skills, communication skills and a thorough understanding of medical software are important assets.